Defender of the Year

By Tom Adams -  Created on 29 May 2007

Over the past ten months skysports.com's journalists have reported on hundreds of games in the Premiership and having canvassed opinion across the office, these are our contenders for the Defender of the Year gong.

As ever, though, it is your views that really count so have your say by using the voting poll and feedback form below.

Have our journalists picked the cream of the crop or has the top flight's stopper supreme escaped our notice? Let us know your views.

Defender of the Year  

Nemanja Vidic

Brave, rugged, willing to put his head in front of a train if it means clearing the ball and with a scary look of Ivan Drago about him - Nemanja Vidic is everything you want from your centre back and more. The Serbian looked a little uncomfortable at times after arriving at Old Trafford, but has enjoyed a simply outstanding first full season in England. His aggressive, powerful style has endeared him to United fans while leaving opposing strikers thinking twice about those 50-50s he so relishes. Not only solid and reliable in defence, Vidic has also provided United with a real goal threat from set-pieces having chipped in with some important goals this term. It says something that his absence would now arguably be more keenly felt than that of Rio Ferdinand beside him. Mark Kendall

Linvoy Primus

Optimus Primus transformed Portsmouth’s defence in tandem with Sol Campbell, also a robot in disguise judging by the latter’s final season at Arsenal. A late developer at Premiership level, man mountain Linvoy excelled in 2006/07, as Pompey narrowly missed out on claiming a place in Europe. The stopper also enjoyed the joint highest skysports.com overall rating (7.0) of any defender. Chris Stanton

 

Joleon Lescott

Having played a total of 0 minutes during his last season in the Premiership with Wolves due to serious injury, Lescott had a point to prove this term and prove it he did. The ultra-consistent Brummie played in every game for Everton as they clinched a place in Europe, more often than not in an unfamiliar, but equally successful, role at left-back. Such was his impact after his signing in June, Lescott earned a call-up to the England B squad and was even linked with Real Madrid - an accolade you feel may elude his defensive colleagues such as Tony Hibbert and Alan Stubbs. Tom Adams

 

Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher is the epitome of what makes a good central defender. The Liverpool ace is a brave, no-nonsense hardworking defender who lets his football do the talking. Such is Carragher’s devotion to defending his goal he would probably try to head out a Jumbo Jet if it came into the Liverpool box. Carragher has again been a beacon of light for Liverpool this term and arguably was their Player of the Season. The wholehearted defender gives nothing less than 100 per cent and his sheer determination not to be beaten makes him a must inclusion in any side. Peter O'Rourke

 

Ricardo Carvalho

While other Chelsea defenders were dropping like flies and even John Terry proved he was not Mr Invincible, Carvalho emerged from the shadow to almost single-handedly keep their back-line from falling apart. Chelsea conceded fewer goals in the Premiership than any other side and then, after barely missing a game, Carvalho was unfortunately ruled out of the FA Cup final through injury. Lewis Rutledge

 

Steve Finnan

Steve Finnan could be described as Liverpool’s ‘Mr Consistency’. He does not grab all the headlines, but his importance to Rafa Benitez’s side cannot be underestimated. The reliable full-back has been a key cog in Liverpool’s watertight back four for the last few seasons with a number of impressive displays. Finnan is equally adept at going forward as defending with the marauding defender providing many assists for Liverpool goals this season as they reached the UEFA Champions League final. The Republic of Ireland international does not always get the credit he deserves and maybe he should get the some of the praise for making Liverpool such a hard side to break down. Peter O'Rourke

 

Gary Neville

Having been ridiculed by a Manchester United fan for picking Gary Neville in my team of the year despite an injury-plagued season that didn’t see him reach anything like the heights he has in previous years, I’m still prepared to say Neville is the king. Why? Because he’s deadly serious about the game and has the talent to back it up, and, for that, you wouldn’t want any other man in the world playing right-back. Robin Hackett

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